Improving the Health of Vulnerable Children

In 2012 GlaxoSmithKline selected OvidiuRo to represent Romania in a regional Roma Health Initiative. GSK’s 3-year €150,000 grant added an important component to the Fiecare Copil în Grădiniță pilot program allowing FCG pilot program communities to address the health needs of impoverished children in rural areas where access to health care is limited.

GSK renewed the “Together for Better Health” grant for another three years in 2015. As a result, OvR continues to provide:

  • medicine, vitamins, fruit & hygiene products,
  • health education to parents and children, and
  • diagnostic services through periodic medical caravans.

Each OvR field visit now includes an Education for Health component and a hygiene kit for the kindergartens.

Medical-caravan

As part of the health project, OvidiuRo entered a collaboration with medical students from the “Together for Rural Health” project in which doctors and final year medical students from Carol Davila University of Medicine visit isolated villages to offer free consultations and medical prescriptions. Over the past three years 10 medical caravans have resulted in examinations for over 2,400 people,with those in need receiving treatment or referrals to specialists. Over 400 medical students, residents and specialists have participated in the caravan, offering examinations in cardiology, pediatrics, ophthalmology, dermatology and echography, and concluding that few children or adults in poor communities had ever had a routine medical check-ups before the Medical Caravan.

The most prevalent problems identified from the caravans are respiratory infections, anemia, intestinal parasites, skin infections and pneumonia.

It is common knowledge that poor health adversely affects a child’s overall development and increases school absenteeism. Clearly, ongoing education of both parents and children on hygiene, nutrition and infectious disease prevention is sorely needed in rural areas.

washing teeth

Since last July over 1,000 “hand washing” and “tooth brushing” posters have been distributed to kindergartens visited by OvidiuRo during the FCG Read Aloud Caravans. Ninety nine communities also received hygiene kits containing hand soap, paper towels, toilet paper, antibacterial hand gel, and cleaning products).

Medical Caravans 2010- 2016 photo gallery: